Stories Photo essay
A celebration of Mugler’s beauty looks

'Les Insectes' Thierry Mugler Spring 1997

By Kiekie Stanners

Besides the outstanding connotation of Mugler with the hyper-feminine silhouette and the king of haute couture, did you know that his ‘Angel’ fragrance was the best-selling perfume of the 20th century?! Instantly recognisable, that star bottle released in 1992 was the scent of the 90s and truth be told I thought it was totally tacky at the time. But here I am, obsessed with a Mugler silhouette and championing an hourglass-like never before.

My reason for working is to make people dream,” the enfant terrible of fashion told the New York Times in 1990. He was known for his spectacular otherworldly runway shows, and every season viewers were treated to ostentatious beauty looks for over two decades.

I’m going to start on a Mugler celebration by celebrating Kim. Whatever you think of her, this is a knockout. Wet-look head to toe in 2019.

The makeup artist trick of gold sparkle through the centre of the eyelid to create a gloss effect and make the eyes look even more contoured. Highlighted and baked to hell. Lashes up to heaven. Teamed with KY Jelly hair. Sublime.

With a shoulder silhouette that wide, big hair is a must. I’m not quite sure what could be holding these ponies up but look at that height. 80’s Mugler pulled out the stops. That hair is no doubt teamed with a face beat to match. What a fun backstage environment to have got the chance to work in, on a show like this! And look - scrunchies have made a comeback.

Iman in GOLD, 1985. Gold fingertips, breastplates and lips, teamed with some incredible blown-out Iman volume in the hair.

Cindy with fishnet tights, gloves and tendils, 1990. This up-do is teamed with an over-the-top debazzled scrunchie out of shot, because of course.

Diana Ross in 1991. Resplendent in mesh appliqué fresh from closing the show, in the most Diana Ross hair anyone could achieve and a cut-crest eyeliner and electric purple lips.

The famous plastic wig of the SS'91 Mugler show, as seen on Linda Evangelista, where models walked out holding pageant numbers and one pieces.

Do you remember when wigs similar to these were sold at IkoIko on K Rd in the 90’s? I had one and thought it was the coolest, campiest thing I’d ever seen, without realising the design was most likely ripped off from this show. Note the perfect nude lip peeping out from below. I would most likely say that is M.A.C Cosmetics Stone Lip Pencil for sure!

Backstage SS 1992, at the ‘Les Cowboys’ show. A matching glitter lip, painted on lashes and a Christmas tree-like effect on the hair. Extra.

George Michael’s “Too Funky’ Video Clip. 1992. Legend has it that George and Manfred hit loggerheads during the filming of this video clip - two big personalities with just as big visions. Featuring the iconic Mugler motorcycle corset, a flame-haired wig and 90’s favourite overdrawn auburn lips.

1995 Mugler - The 20th Anniversary Show. Paris. A theatrical extravaganza with a 3-dimensional set and lavish performance.

Hair scrapped back into a latex cap and the quintessential Mugler asymmetric hat. It allows the makeup to do all the talking. Razor sharp black brows, the smokiest of smoky eyes, currant lips paired against 90’s porcelain powdered bases.

Imagine being at this show, seeing this head-to-toe latex-dominatrix styling complete with built-in stilettos AND seeing that glam teamed with it.

Nadia Auerman in THAT golden metal bra dress. It was revealed on the catwalk from behind the full length coat, to much a-buzz to the newly embraced internet. Look at that perfect blow-out bob, set to perfection.

The Shell Dress, or designed from the ‘Birth of Venus’ revealed at the 20th anniversary show.

This extravaganza included 75 supermodels and celebrities, 35 hairdressers and 35 makeup artists working backstage to create multiple looks on talent. Of course, Cardi B brought this piece back for the Grammys, completed with the pearl headpiece!

Fall Winter 1999 ‘Les Meduses’ - this wouldn’t look out of place in 2023 and yes please to this hair colour.

A chic side-parted bob, fiery colour palette worn with a vampy lip. Mugler’s step into the world of Playboy inspired this range, and a knock on to the slightly paired-back beauty looks too.

Lady in Red dream, in Paris ’99. This waist is sensational but so is this hair.

The most glamorous swept back ‘do and perfectly set curls. And the days of full glam for a fashion show - arched brows, smoky eyes and a full glossy red lip.

I really do miss this amount of glamour backstage. It’s so ultra-feminine and as a girlie who grew up pouring over fashion shows (before they hit the heroine grunge trends that I knew was definitely not going to align with my personal body type) this kind of glamour never leaves you.

2001 Collection ‘Baptised le Fauves’, Thierry’s last Ready To Wear show features wild hair, leopard prints and refined sophisticated tailoring.

Not to miss a beauty moment, leopard-print eye makeup makes a statement, alongside hairpieces attached in a manner that felt animalistic.

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